When my younger daughter was around 6 months old, we gave her mashed up prune. She grimaced and shivered a little, appearing to be absolutely disgusted. But then she grunted and reached for more.
Most babies are ready for solid food around 6 months of age, and feeding them can be fun. One of the more entertaining approaches does not involve a spoon. Called baby-led weaning, it involves...
The tempo of a male elephant seal’s call broadcasts his identity to rival males, a new study finds.
Every male elephant seal has a distinct vocalization that sounds something like a sputtering lawnmower — pulses of sound in a pattern and at a pace that stays the same over time.
At a California state park where elephant seals breed each year, researchers played different variations...
Tools, paints and other artifacts excavated from an ancient rock-shelter in northern Australia are giving new glimpses into early life Down Under. The first humans may have arrived on the continent 65,000 years ago — 5,000 years earlier than previously thought — and they were sophisticated craftspeople, researchers report July 19 in Nature.
Archaeologists unearthed three distinct layers...
Water bears may be Earth’s last animal standing.
These tough little buggers, also known as tardigrades, could keep calm and carry on until the sun boils Earth’s oceans away billions of years from now, according to a new study that examined water bears’ resistance to various astronomical disasters. This finding, published July 14 in Scientific Reports, suggests that complex life can be...
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Ravens have passed what may be their toughest tests yet of powers that, at least on a good day, let people and other apes plan ahead.
Lab-dwelling common ravens (Corvus corax) in Sweden at least matched the performance of nonhuman apes and young children in peculiar tests of advanced planning ability. The birds faced such challenges as selecting a rock useless at the...
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Humpback whales, those innovative foodies, have discovered their own pop-up restaurants.
Migrant humpbacks returning to southeastern Alaska in spring are the first of their kind known to make routine visits to fish hatcheries releasing young salmon into the sea, says marine ecologist Ellen Chenoweth.
The whales are “40 feet long and they’re feeding on fish that...
One lab full of rats looks pretty much the same as another. But visiting a lab in Siberia, geneticist Alex Cagan can distinguish rats bred to be tame from those bred to be aggressive as soon as he opens the lab door.
“It’s a completely different response immediately,” he says. All of the tame rats “come to the front of the cage very inquisitively.” The aggressive rats scurry to the backs...
More than a million wildebeests migrate each year from Tanzania to Kenya and back again, following the rains and abundant grass that springs up afterward. Their path takes them across the Mara River, and some of the crossings are so dangerous that hundreds or thousands of wildebeests drown as they try to traverse the waterway.
Those animals provide a brief, free buffet for crocodiles and...
Earth’s dry regions have more trees than once thought — a hopeful note in the fight against climate change.
An analysis of high-resolution satellite imagery reveals that drylands globally have 40 to 47 percent more tree cover (an extra 467 million hectares) than reported in earlier estimates. An international team of researchers used Google Earth and Collect Earth, a program developed by...
A newly discovered glass frog from Ecuador’s Amazon lowlands is giving researchers a window into its heart.
Hyalinobatrachium yaku has a belly so transparent that the heart, kidneys and urine bladder are clearly visible, an international team of researchers reports May 12 in ZooKeys. Researchers identified H. yaku as a new species using field observations, recordings of its distinct call...